Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Diapers, Diapers :Part 2

   When a person first hears "cloth diapers", they're usually thinking of the big square pieces of fabric that you have to fold several times and then pin. Those still exist, now called flats, but the CD (AKA cloth diaper) world has grown and developed so much since then. It really is amazing (to me it was) when you learn about all the different types of diapers, which is what this informing post is all about. Since I'm super excited to cloth diaper my baby when she arrives, I wanted to educate my readers as well and share some stuff that you may not know.  
 
Before we get to all the types, let's talk about a couple other things first.
 
Sizing:
   There are sized cloth diapers, specific newborn sizes, and a OS (one size) that is advertised to fit from birth to potty training. Most of the OS diapers start properly fitting a baby at around 8-10 pounds, but go all the way up to 35 pounds. The diapers have adjustable snap down rises so that you can make it a small, medium, or large. These (pic below) are the exact same diapers, just different colors. On the left is the diaper at a larger size, but still not the largest it will go. On the right everything is adjusted down to a newborn size. These particular diapers are a little different than most because they don't have the snap down rise, instead the elastic in the leg holes and waist is adjustable. I am sticking with OS after the newborn stage, I feel that this is the best bang for your buck and lasts until potty training.
   A lot of people like to order several newborn sized diapers for proper fit during the first month or two, before switching to OS. I am one of those people because I tend to have small babies, my first was 6.4 lbs. Making sure the diapers fit well is important and helps prevent leaks and blow outs. Of course if you plan on having more children you can reuse these later or you can sell them pretty easily and use that $$ to buy bigger ones.

2 FuzziBunz Diapers adjusted to different sizes
   
 
Snaps vs. Aplix (Velcro):
   1. Convenience- Velcro is definitely the easiest option. During the newborn stage a lot of people choose velcro so that they don't have to deal with snaps at those night time changings. As they get older a wiggly baby could be hard to do since they'll be trying to get away from you.
   TIP: For this reason, I've noticed that parents give their child a toy during changing time. It buys you a little more time when dealing with snaps and baby is entertained. Of course this doesn't always work...lol.

   2. Longevity- Snaps last longer, with wear and wash the velcro gets less sticky and collects fuzz. Your aplix will probably need to be replaced if you plan on using the diapers for more than one child. PS...your little one will figure out the velcro because it's so much easier to undo as opposed to stumping them with snaps.
  
   3. Fit- Think of snaps almost like a belt, they are pre-sized. Sometimes you may be in between the holes on a belt which is the same with snaps because all babies aren't the same. Velcro allows you to adjust the fit to be more tailored to your child.

Either one size, sized, snaps, or aplix...it's really a personal preference. I have majority snaps in our cloth diaper stash simply because of the longevity of them as opposed to velcro.
 

Types of Cloth Diapers**Contact me if you would like a more in depth explanation of any of the types of diapers**
 
Flats & Pre-folds:
   Flats are the old school way of cloth diapering. They're a large, one size, square of cotton fabric that you can fold many different ways to fit babies of all weights. Flats dry (even on the line) much faster than any other type of CD. The absorbency is the same throughout the entire flat, which is why you fold many times. These need to be pinned or secured with a snappi, a 3 part piece with little claws that are easier & quicker to use than actual diaper pins.
   I think of pre-folds as an updated flat. Instead of such large pieces of fabric, they are smaller and you can buy them in sizes to fit babies based on weight. They take longer to dry than flats (but quicker than other types of diapers) and get more fluffy & absorbent with each wash. As you can see in the picture below, they have 3 sections. The outer 2 sections have less layers than the middle, which usually has 5-8 layers of absorbency. This is the soaker part of the diaper that most of the waste will end up on. Again, these also need to be fastened with a snappi or pins, but you don't have to fold as much as with a flat.
Unbleached Indian Prefolds
    Since these are made of absorbent cotton or other materials, they are not waterproof which means you will need a cover (see below). If you're interested in the different types of folds used for prefolds & flats,  YouTube has many examples. That's how I learned to fold but I still have a couple months before I can test out my knowledge.

Fitteds:
   Fitted diapers are very breathable since they are made from cotton and other organic materials, and there is no barrier (like PUL) sewn in to make it waterproof. They are like prefolds but with leg elastics and there's no folding involved for you, the diaperer. They are super absorbent and because of that a lot of people prefer fitteds for night time use with a cover over top. Some of them do have snap in soakers for extra absorbency or you can lay one right in the diaper as well if needed.

Kissaluvs Newborn Fitted 
Printed Fitted by Green Child Creations

Covers:
   Diaper covers make your cloth diaper waterproof and add another layer of protection to prevent leaks. These are used over non-waterproof diapers, such as flats, prefolds, and fitteds. The great thing about covers is that you can rotate a couple throughout the day without having to throw them in the washer. If there's no poo on the cover then wipe it out, let it air dry, and use it again later in the day. They used to be called "plastic pants," but now you can get them in aplix or snaps and there's a wide variety of colors and prints.

Pockets:
   Pocket diapers have these main components; they're waterproof, they have pockets (typically open up in the back), and the inner part is made from some absorbent material, sometimes a stay dry. So there's a pocket for reason! What you will be stuffing the pockets with are inserts, the main 3 are microfiber (always use in the pocket, not next to baby's skin), hemp & bamboo blends. The pocket allows you to personalize the absorbency to the needs of your child by adding in more than 1 insert if needed, like at night time. Inserts are also a quick, easy, cheap DIY as opposed to buying enough for every diaper plus. Back to the prefolds & flats (not to mention flour sack towels), these can be folded and used as inserts to. Granted, most pocket diapers do come with inserts already but not always, especially if you buy the diaper used.

Kawaii One Size Heavy Wetter Pocket Diaper
  

AI2 (All in 2)/Hybrids:
   Even though my stash currently consists of mostly pocket diapers, with the exception of 5 gDiapers (AI2s), I really like the idea of the All In 2 (AI2). These diapers have no pockets, a waterproof outter, and an absorbent inner that snaps in. Because the inner part snaps in, you can reuse the cover as long as it doesn't get soiled and snap in a new insert. Drying time is also quicker than an AIO since all of the layers aren't sewed together.

Bum Rite AI2, you can see cover and absorbent snap in inner


gDiaper, the white pouch unsnaps from cover where insert is laid in

AIO (All in One):
   An AIO diaper is the closest in cloth that you can get to a disposable. These diapers tend to be more expensive than the other types, but there is no need for a cover since it's already waterproof & the inserts are already sewn in for maximum absorbency. Some AIO diapers also have leg gussets on the sides of the inner soaker, which helps to prevent leaking. Because this diaper is all 1 piece, it is harder to get all the way clean & the drying time is much longer. However, there are brands that have snap in soakers for the middle or partially attached pieces, which does help to cut down a bit on dryer time. People who plan to CD at daycares tend to use this type because it is pretty simple and user friendly for those unfamiliar. This is a wonderful option for dads and grandparents to.

Rumparoo Lil Joey AIO


    There are several different types of cloth diapering for all budget ranges, the key is to find out what works for your family. I wouldn't recommend buying all one brand or one type because those may not work for you. I personally love the idea of the gDiaper but only have 5 in my stash because like everything, all babies are different and what works for 100 people may not work for us. I hope this helped explain cloth diapering a little more, of course it could be more extensive, but I figured this was already a long enough post. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have or if you would like to see a post on another aspect of CD. Over the next few months I'll also be showing you all my stash, some DIY tips to save more money with cloth, and more.

  
 

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